Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Answers to common questions about Master's degree programs

            My name is Kayla Lindenback and I am a first year Master’s degree student at the University of Saskatchewan. GO HUSKIES! I am studying flax breeding and my supervisor is (Helen Booker) CDC Flax Breeder. I hail from Leduc, Alberta (Hi Dad!) and grew up in cities all my life. So how did I develop an interest in agriculture and crop sciences you ask? Well, during the second year of my genetics Bachelor’s degree at the University of Alberta I mistakenly applied for a job with Dow Agrosciences that had been posted as “Plant Genetics Assistant”, it turned out to be research field work but I fell in love with the job, atmosphere, people and let’s be honest... the pay cheques.
Over the holidays I went back home to spend Christmas with family and my boyfriend. My older sister and I are the first in our immediate family to get any university education, and I am the first to go past a Bachelor’s. Because of this, whenever I go home I am often fielding a barrage of questions. This is understandable because to be totally honest with you readers, even I didn’t know the difference between a Master’s degree and a PhD until two years ago! So I will use this blog to answer some common questions that I get asked:

What is the difference between a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree and a PhD?
  • A Bachelor’s Degree is what you take right after high school when you go into university. After you have completed a Bachelor’s you can apply to go into a Master’s or PhD program.
  • An agricultural Master’s takes typically 2-3 years (depending on the student) and can be an intermediate step between a Bachelor’s and a PhD.
  • Some people skip the Masters and go right into a PhD, this saves time in the long run but the transition can be difficult. A PhD in agriculture takes approximately 4-6 (or 7 if you are slow) years to complete but it is the Holy Grail, once you get it life is gooooood. If you have survived past this point you are now a doctor of both your field and of being awesome.
What are you doing all day if you don’t have classes?
Research graduate degrees don’t involve many classes, I only have to take 3 courses to complete my Master’s and they are courses that my supervisor and I both decide are cool enough to take. The majority of my time is spent working in the field, labs, and greenhouses.

Why don’t you just work during the summer and stop complaining about being broke?
Since most of our time is spent working we don’t get the summer off. We till, seed, spray, and combine just like the rest of you folks. Which reminds me, I have some plants that need watering!

Ciao for now readers!


  1. omg !!!! 4-6ys :o

    i am studing MA agriculture wanna apply for PHD in this universty :(

    i'd like to be in contact with you madam .

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I see.I totally agree with your insights.Your detailed inscriptions are very helpful,be it online PhD takers or Master Degree takers,they should really know about this.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. oh, looks like what you're doing is exciting. I graduated and got a degree in journalism. But I'm thinking of enrolling again and study for another course. It looks like I want to study agriculture and I don't even have to do a lot of college papers. Thanks for some of the info you have in here.